On Sunday, 27 November, SAE Oceania and Far East concluded its Annual General Meeting at the Association of Ilion ‘Hermes’ in Bexley, NSW attended by dozens of delegates and representatives from Oceania, Greece, Europe, educators media and esteemed guests.

Among the online attendees was the Deputy Minister of Greeks Abroad Grigoris Niotis from Athens, the Global SAE Secretary Dr Olga Sanantopoulou from Vienna, Dr Kostas Karras of the European Scientists Network from Germany, SAE Board’s legal representative Theodoros Koutsoubas from Athens, SAE Thessaloniki’s Secretary Fotini Makri while Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Ioannis Malikourtis was represented by Konstantinos Giannakodimos from the International Diplomacy Office in Sydney who opened the AGM.

Giorgos Angelopoulos alongside Michalis Christodoulou and Giannis Theodoridis officiated the event, presenting the minutes of the June 2021 AGM and the records for the financial year 1.1.21-31.12.21 prior to delving into the 2022 main topics.

The main topics discussed were the law voted on SAE in February 2021 and its reoperation, the voting rights of diaspora Greeks and the establishment of a Ministry for Diaspora Greeks, the proceedings of the Emergency Treasury for Diaspora and the collaborations of SAE Oceania members and affiliated organisations in tackling operational and infrastructure issues both in Australia and in Greece.

AGM Committee members. Photo: Supplied

One of the pressing issues was the backlog created by the lack of communication with the motherland or significant delays from Greek organisations and local/national government services affecting procedures in Oceania and other centres of Greek diaspora.

After the speeches delivered from participants and candidates the committee, and representatives agreed on prioritising the signing of a bilateral agreement to avoid double taxation for dual citizens, Greek language education and activation of diaspora youth.

Proposals approved were Olga Sarantopoulou’s suggestion of collaboration with Elliniki Eteria of Austria to provide humanitarian help to Ukraine and Fotini Makri’s proposal of an Intellectual Creation Centre based in Thessaloniki.

The members also discussed establishing an official Hellenism Day, a SAE files directory and the publication of a historical ‘guide’ to connect the older generations of diaspora with the youth.

The new SAE coordinator for 2022-2026 is Ioannis Theodoridis and the new board consists of Kostas Alaveras, Dimitris Kanellakos, Eleni Kalymniou, Giannis Belas, Leonidas Naoumis, Savvas Papasavvas, Panagiotis Papoulidis, Asterios Tsitzas.

Outgoing coordinator, Giorgos Angelopoulos, was acknowledged for his contribution to the Oceania and Far East Greek diaspora and Hellenism in general. Mr Angelopoulos was named honorary coordinator of SAE Oceania and Far East.